- Sermon Notes
More Than Conquerors
Romans 8:37, But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
- How many of us believe this verse is true?
- Okay, let me ask again but this time in a different way.
- Do you believe Romans 8:37 when it is applied to an area of great personal struggle?
- Here’s what I have discovered. As Christians, we may agree and say Romans 8:37 is true, but we still feel defeated because it’s not a reality in our lives.
APPL – I believe the Lord wants all of us to experience the truth of Romans 8:37 every day of our lives.
- Through Jesus Christ, we can overwhelmingly conquer all strongholds in our lives.
- Through Jesus Christ, we can overwhelmingly conquer all temptations.
5. Tonight, we will look at the life of Samson and discover three principles for conquering the strongholds that often conquer us.
- God raised up Samson to be Israel’s judge or deliverer.
- The Holy Spirit empowered Samson for great things.
- But, Samson, in many ways, was symbolic of Israel at that time:
a. He was in a covenant relationship with God.
b. But his character was lacking because his heart was divided.
Transition – How do we avoid following in Samson’s footsteps and be more than conquerors through Jesus?
I. Sanctify Christ as Lord in Your Heart (1-3)
1 Peter 3:15, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts
- The word sanctify literally means “to set apart.”
- So, what does it mean to set apart Christ as Lord in your hearts? When your heart is set apart for Christ then…
- Jesus occupies the most special place in your heart because Jesus is the desire of your heart.
- Jesus has the highest place in your heart because you have welcomed His authority over your life.
A. Make no provision for the lusts of your flesh
Romans 13:14, But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lust.
- Samson was looking for trouble and found it.
- He went to Gaza which was the Mediterranean version of spring break in Florida.
- He met a harlot and had relations with her.
2. Now, Samson’s problems were obvious to all:
- The lust of the flesh and eyes.
- The boastful pride of life. Samson always thought, “I can deliver myself.”
- But Samson’s lust and pride blinded him long before the Philistines removed his eyes.
APPL – Here’s the problem, Samson got away with it, or so he thought.
If we are not careful, that can be our problem too.
We sin and think no one will know.
And if we get caught, we think that we can get ourselves out of the jam just like we have in the past.
ILLUS – Accountability is good for us.
APPL – The truth is, we never truly “get away” with sin. Our sin will always find us out.
Proverbs 6:27-28, Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Or can a man walk on hot coals, and his feet not be scorched?
- Sin damages our souls.
- Sin damages our relationships.
- Sin sets us up for greater future failures.
B. Surrender your weaknesses to Jesus
- Ask God for help.
Hebrews 2:18, For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
2. Ask God to keep you from temptation.
Matthew 6:13, And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Transition – But if we don’t surrender our weaknesses to God, the enemy will set a bigger trap for us to walk into.
II. Intentionally Pursue Christ (4-16)
- God desires a deep, thriving relationship with us.
- God also knows what is best for us and what’s best for us is to have more of Him in our lives.
- God invites us to seek Him and pursue Him.
Psalm 27:8, When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.”
- As Pastor Rich has said, “We are changed in the presence of a holy God.”
A. Pursue righteousness with all of our heart
- Samson was a Nazirite from birth. Numbers 6:1-21 lists the requirements for the Nazirite vow.
- No wine or anything from the vine.
- No contact with anything that has died.
- No haircuts.
- The Nazirite vow is a picture of complete devotion to the Lord.
2. But Samson had an appetite for forbidden fruit (4)
- Sorek means “chosen vine.”
- Delilah means “devoted one.
3. The Philistines wanted to make a trophy out of Samson. (5)
APPL – Satan wants to make a trophy of us too.
- Satan wants to display our failures in his trophy case of defeated saints.
- Then Satan can whisper to us and others, “You’re going to fail just like ‘…’ failed.”
ILLUS – A college friend mocking my rededication to Jesus.
4. Samson couldn’t see the warning signs because he was trying to serve two masters, God and the lusts of his flesh. (6)
APPL – But no one can serve two masters.
Matthew 6:24, No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other.
- We must pray for an undivided heart.
Psalm 86:11, Teach me Your way, Lord; that I may rely on Your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
- We must pray for a godly appetite.
Matthew 5:6, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
We must fill our minds with God-glorifying things.
Philippians 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.
B. Flee don’t’ flirt with temptation
- Samson pursued his fleshly appetites and flirted with temptation.
- Notice Samson’s answers got closer to the truth the more he flirted with temptation.
- Bind me with seven fresh cords. (7)
- Bind me with new ropes. (11)
- Weave the seven locks of my hair with the web and fasten it with a pin. (13)
3. Notice the tactics of Delilah.
- “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me?” (15)
- “She pressed him daily with her words.” (16)
- “His soul was annoyed to death.” (16)
4. Samson should have seen the warning signs back in verse six when Delilah said, “Please tell me where your great strength is and how you may be bound to afflict you.”
5. It’s like watching a car accident. You’re waiting for Samson to stop and say, “Hey there Delilah!” but he kept coming back for more.
APPL – Like Samson, many try to resist temptation when they should flee from temptation instead.
- Flirting with temptation leaves the door open for failure.
- When we flirt with temptation, we deceive ourselves into thinking we have the strength to say “No” in the heat of the moment or that we will know when to quit.
- The key is to stop before you start.
- We must not play on the devil’s playground.
- Pursue Christ and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh.
ILLUS – Samson should have followed the example of Joseph and how he handled the advances from Potiphar’s wife. (Genesis 39:7-13)
2 Timothy 2:22, Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
APPL – You will never regret a life filled with righteousness, faith, love, and peace.
APPL – And God is faithful. He always provides a way of escape when temptation comes our way.
1 Corinthians 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.
III. Strengthen Yourself in Christ (17-22)
- Our strength is not enough
- Flirting with temptation wore Samson down. (17) Delilah said, “Show me the money” when she realized Samson had “told her all that was in his heart.” (18)
- Delilah lulled him to sleep in her lap just like Satan lulls people into complacency.
1 Peter 5:8-9, Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
4. The haircut symbolized a broken relationship. (19)
5. Samson’s power was not in his hair but in His relationship with the Lord.
6. Sadly, Samson was the last to know that the Lord had left him. (20)
APPL – It is important to note the difference between Samson and us.
- As an Old Covenant saint, the Holy Spirit left Samson.
- As New Covenant saints, Jesus will never leave us.
Matthew 28:20, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
B. Jesus’ strength is more than enough
1. Samson strength was not enough. He realized too late that his strength came from the Lord.
2. When we abide in Christ, His strength becomes our strength.
John 15:4-5, Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.
3. So, when we are weak, our God is strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.
Judges 16:22, However, the hair of his head began to grow after it was shaved off.
APPL – It’s a picture of rededication to the Lord, a renewal of their relationship.
Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Judges 16: 1-22 NASB
19 She made him sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his hair. Then she began to afflict him, and his strength left him. 20 She said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him. 21Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison. 22However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved off.